I know that this is coming a bit late for Halloween, I have been busy helping CRC transition to their new location in Dallas for the last few weeks and have barely had a moment to myself between working there, interviewing for new jobs, and working my other job as well! Many of the people that I work with are in the same boat, as this location will soon be shutting its doors for good and several of us chose not to relocate. We wanted to have one last fun hoorah before parting ways, so we did a San Diego vs. Dallas staff costume contest. Whoever won would not only win a prize for themselves, but for the store they worked at. Unfortunately, all 4 judges picked a different winner. The good news is that they were all from our location, so all 4 chosen were given the same prize and our store got the grand prize. And the cherry on top was that one of the 4 winners was me!
Now, I was very surprised by this because I honestly didn't have a costume until like halfway through the month. Usually for Halloween I go through the same routine:
November through May - "I have plenty of time to work on a costume!"
June through August - "Halloween is going to be coming up, I really should start thinking of a costume..."
September - "Crap, what am I going to be? I need to start getting this together!"
October - "Okay, now it's the 15th and I still have no idea what to do."
Halloween - "How in the living hell did I pull this costume together?"
Then I come up with some grand idea, which I can never possibly execute within the time that I have. I love Halloween, so I always want to go big! But I don't actually give myself time to do so, which means that it always ends up as some half assed version of what I wanted. This year was no different, since my chosen costume was a friggin' Picasso painting. You might think that abstract is pretty easy, since it is supposed to look warped. But trust me, that is a delicately controlled chaos. Now imagine doing this on your face, over already existing features. Being me, I didn't bother to do a trial of the makeup beforehand. As such, I may or may not have spent some time crying on Halloween morning while trying to get it right. Somehow though, at the last minute, I managed to pull it together to an end result that I have to say I am extremely pleased with!
I ended up having a lot of fun with this costume, and it really didn't cost much! The costume itself only required purchasing the shirt, which I got at Target because I really wasn't in the mood to drive to Goodwill. This was around $10, but had I gone to Goodwill I probably could have purchased something for a few bucks. The box for the hat and frame was free, from our warehouse, and I already had a bunch of acrylic craft paints to paint the cardboard. I used a hair gel to slick my bangs back, and pulled my hair into a bun. I taped the hat to a "Bump It" comb, so that it just slid into my slicked back hair and locked itself in place. Unfortunately, said comb is slightly visible because I didn't secure it well enough at first. The only materials that I really had to worry about were the makeup items, which of course I purchased at work.
Now here is how I tackled the daunting task of making myself into a work of art from one of the most famous painters in history!
Ben Nye wedge sponges
A small lip brush for detailing
Mehron Skin Prep
Ben Nye Creme Character Base - White
Ben Nye Professional Wheel - Rainbow
Ben Nye Magicolor Pencil - Black
Ben Nye Magicolor Pencil - Red
Ben Nye Translucent Face Powder - Neutral Set
Mehron Barrier Spray
The first thing that I did was apply the Mehron Skin Prep with a cotton ball, this acts almost like a toner and removes any excess oil or dirt on the skin. It helps to control sweat and oil throughout the day, which is crucial for makeup like this. After letting that dry, I spray on an even coat of Barrier Spray which acts like a primer and helps the makeup adhere to the skin.
To begin the makeup, I first lay down a white base using the Character Base and a sponge. I then blocked out the black areas using the black Magicolor pencil, to give myself an outline. I concentrated on my other background colors next, which were the yellow and gray on each side. The yellow is in the Rainbow Wheel, as is the black. I mixed a grey using the black and the white Character Base. Once everything was blocked out for the background, I went over the pencil with the cream color from the wheel to get that rich black. I used sponges for the bulk of it, and the small brush to go over the lines and edges. I then added my details using the red and black pencils, and also used them to smooth out all of the lines to ensure that everything looked crisp. I added the finishing touches by ensuring that my ears and hands were also painted, to complete the look. I just lightly dabbed them with a sponge and some of the mixed gray.
Once I had this completed, used a sponge to lightly press the Neutral Set powder into the makeup to set it. After letting it absorb for a moment, I gently brushed off the excess with a powder brush. I then layered on Barrier Spray once again by applying it and letting it dry, then repeating the process a few times. This product is amazing for theatrical makeup like this, applying it before and after the makeup essentially seals it in between the layers so it doesn't budge. I worked a full day in this costume, and I required no touch ups whatsoever. I did bring the spray with me, and reapplied throughout the day to be on the safe side. When I got home, I simply used a wash rag, warm water, and a makeup remover to clean it off.
In the end, this went from a last minute idea that ended up stressing me out, to one of the coolest costumes that I have ever done! Did it turn out perfectly? Definitely not! Had I taken the time to really put this together, I certainly could have made a closer representation of the painting that I was imitating. Nevertheless, I am extremely proud of the results. It is all the more satisfying because I won (well, tied) our contest and helped to get our very deserving staff a badass party at Dave and Busters! And it just so happens that this party will fall on the weekend after my last day, so I will get a fond farewell with these amazing people who have made the last two years of my life an absolute blast!
This is just part of the badass crew that I work with. The other costumes that won were the Banana Powder Banana, the creepy doll, and the Camera Ready Batwoman.
For those who love to play around with special effects or face painting, I recommend trying a style like this. I chose this one for the simplicity, or what I mistook as simplicity, but there are so many other paintings that would be a blast to recreate! Or perhaps you're looking for costume ideas already for next year, because you're smart. If you actually take the time to do it right, I guarantee that the outcome will be spectacular!
If you have any questions or comments about this look, please feel free to leave them below!